ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Communications minister proposes sanctions against Haaretz for ‘false propaganda’

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Illustrative: Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi heads into a cabinet meeting in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, September 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)
Illustrative: Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi heads into a cabinet meeting in the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, September 10, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi proposes a government resolution to halt any state advertising, subscriptions or other commercial connection with the Haaretz daily newspaper, due to what he describes is the left-wing publication’s “defeatist and false propaganda” against the State of Israel during wartime.

In a letter to Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs, Karhi denounces Haaretz for its editorial stance on the war and proposes that the state not enter into any new commercial agreements with the newspaper, halt all advertising in it even if it has been paid for, and block any outstanding payments from being made.

“Since the beginning of the war, my office has received numerous complaints that the Haaretz newspaper has taken a harmful line that undermines the goals of the war and weakens the military effort and societal resilience,” writes Karhi.

He alleges that some of Haaretz’s articles may even have “crossed the criminal threshold” and says he is sure that this will be “examined by the relevant authorities.”

Karhi spearheaded the drive to pass emergency government regulations allowing his ministry to shut down foreign news broadcasts deemed to be harmful to national security and cause incitement, although it has been reported that his initial draft of the regulations included domestic media as well.

The Communications Ministry has shut down the Lebanese al Mayadeen news channel associated with Hezbollah as a result, but has yet to shutter the Qatar-based Al Jazeera channel, the original target of Karhi’s regulations, in order not to antagonize the Qatari government as it serves as a mediator in hostage negotiations with Hamas.

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